Pirates focused on Silverware
Coach Sredojevic still has high hopes for the season
ORLANDO Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic believes his team can still win silverware this season despite the inconsistency of results in the Absa Premiership and losing out on the season’s maiden cup competition, the MTN8.
“In everything that we go into, we have the highest possible ambitions to go all the way and win it,” he explained.
“That is the identity of the club which I am currently blessed to be the head coach of.
“All of us as the technical team and players, together with the support of the management and supporters, we are working very hard to achieve what we are looking for.
“Last year, we had the so-called ‘soul-healing session’ and this season we want to do everything possible to ‘feed the souls’.”
The Telkom Knockout tournament that’s scheduled to commence on October 20-21, immediately after the international break, will offer the Bucs another opportunity to challenge for silverware this season.
The Sea Robbers will be at home to Chippa United, and the Serbian says they’ll approach the match with caution.
“We want to give respect to Chippa United,” he insisted. “We should also give respect to ourselves and the game of football.
“This match really demands our focus. In a cup competition you have no right to have any slip, hence we will pay attention to every detail so that we can proceed to the next round.”
For the first club in PSL era that has a finishing specialist, Stephane Adam, Sredojevic admits that they haven’t had the expected potent attack so far and as such, they need to improve.
In 11 matches, they have merely scored 14 goals, while also missing a number of clear-cut chances.
However, Micho also acknowledges that the work that you put in attack should be equivalent to that which you put in defence.
As much as they’ve lacked sharpness upfront, they have also been leaky in defence considering that they’ve conceded 11 goals so far.
“In football you need to balance attack and defence,” Sredojevic said. IF the Highveld Lions needed any reminding that the journey from the depths of despair last summer will be a long one, they got it at the Wanderers in three punishing days against the Cape Cobras.
The margin of defeat was a substantial an innings and 71 runs and the difference in points earned a mammoth 23. The Cobras won virtually every mini-battle and from top to bottom they outplayed a more experienced Lions team, half of whom had represented the Proteas in one format or another. New coach Enoch Nkwe is nowhere near pressing a panic button just yet. The season as he mentioned yesterday, is still too young for that. “We are still working on how we play four-day cricket, the players are still adapting to my philosophy about how we must play four-day cricket. We believe we have the right personnel, it’s about how we play,” Nkwe said.
They played very badly at the Wanderers, particularly in the first two days. The first innings was a wretched display of batting, the execution from nearly all the players was “very poor,” according to Nkwe.
The bowling left a lot to be desired too, with Nkwe upset by how badly his team’s attack missed their lengths and the inability to properly implement plans. “We didn’t use our experience; we were not patient in areas that would have tested the opposition,” he said.
“We’d try something but only for four or five balls, then we’d be bowling bouncers or something different which was disappointing, because it allowed their batsmen to settle.”
Nkwe found some positives from the way his side stuck at it in the field; still chasing balls and taking catches even after 120 overs.
“We also batted the way we wanted to in that second innings,” Nkwe added. A 46th first-class century from Stephen Cook was the highlight, as were half-centuries from Wihan Lubbe and Nicky van den Bergh.
ORLANDO Pirates coach Milton Sredojevic. |